If you have around $US12,000 ($16,027) to blow on a new way to scoot around town, then I’ve got some good news. Zero Motorcycles has a new model that, to be perfectly honest, has me drooling on my keyboard.
Zero’s new 2022 FXE expands on the company’s expanding lineup of electric motorcycles with design cues the company says are taken from the world of consumer tech thanks to designers at San Francisco-based firm HUGE Design, which has collaborated with companies like GoPro and Seagate. If gadgets are your jam, you’ll likely see design similarities to, say, HP’s Z3700 wireless mouse. Motorcycle enthusiasts will see inspiration from the Ducati Hypermotard or Husquavarna’s Vitpilen 401. Whatever the FXE reminds you of, it looks great.
Beyond its sleek industrial stance, the FXE packs Zero’s 75-5 air-cooled, brushless electric motor capable of producing 46 HP and 23.77 m-pounds of torque — plenty of power to get you from here to there while scaring you a little bit. The 7.2 kWh Li-ion battery can carry you around 161 km on a single charge, according to Zero, provided you’re just zipping around the city. (Highway riding at higher speeds is going to shorten that range.) That’s more than twice the range of the 2021 Zero FX.
You’ll also find LED lights all around the FXE, and a 5-inch TFT touch display where the gauges go on a gas-powered machine. The bike is controlled by Zero’s Cypher II operating system, which connects to your phone via Bluetooth, where you can control all the bike’s many settings — everything from top speed to battery management to long-term storage settings — from the Zero app.
While I’ve not yet had a chance to try out the FXE, Zero reps did lend me their higher-end SR/F to try out for a month in late 2019, and it sold me on electric motorcycles. My garage is currently packed with gas-guzzling dirt bikes, and my daily rider is a 1999 Harley Sportster — the opposite end of the motorcycle spectrum from the SR/F or the FXE. I found the experience of riding the SR/F both exhilarating and a little disconcerting.
The motor is virtually silent, there are no gears, and it accelerates instantly and without any pause, until you hit the top end of its speed range. This meant I’d be tooling along, look down, and holy shit, I’m going 145 km/h by accident. The FXE isn’t as powerful as the sportier SR/F, but it doesn’t take much to get going too fast for comfort on one of these mean machines, at least not until you get used to it. The upside is, you can hit the twisty country roads without a V-twin drowning out the birds and the breeze.
While the FXE is about half as powerful as Zero’s sportbikes, it’s also about half the price: $US11,795 ($15,753). Zero is rolling out the FXE in a 20-stop tour in partnership with the Progressive International Motorcycle Show Outdoors, with a kick-off on July 16 at the Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Preorders will begin shipping today.
Of course, 12 grand is a lot of money for anything — but considering you can easily spend the same amount on an Apple Mac Pro plus accessories, I’d say an FXE is a far more fun (albeit potentially more dangerous) way to blow through your savings.